Author Archives: theamericanplutarch

About theamericanplutarch

Writer, thinker, historian.

The Sea Mark: A Poem

I published a book about John Smith several years ago entitled The Sea Mark. Smith himself wrote a poem of that name. Inspired by Smith, here is my version of the Seamark. Seamark I have searched, the pages of history To … Continue reading

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Bucephalus

One of my heroes of the past is Alexander the Great. This is due in part to Plutarch, whose portrait of Alexander, in his Parallel Lives, is arguably one of the reasons I became a historian. Plutarch’s story of the taming … Continue reading

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Grunter’s Plea: The Ancient Philosophy of Vegetarianism

One of the more fascinating tales of Homer in the Odyssey is that of the bewitching of Odysseus’s men by the witch Circe. Odysseus and his men have arrived at an unknown wooded island. Odysseus sends a detachment of men … Continue reading

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Icons

We live in a world of icons: cloth, stone, digital, metal, paper: money, electronic devices, flags, statues, scriptures, media stars, and so on. Icons have been the stuff of human worship for centuries: the Hebrews worshiped the golden calf, early … Continue reading

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Sibyl’s Leaves

One of my favorite authors is Michel de Montaigne, author of Essays. In Montaigne’s final essay, “Of Experience,” he traces his experience with the disease of kidney stones. He wrote about his anxiety and fears, his expectation of death, which became … Continue reading

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The Shawl

The Shawl, by Cynthia Ozick, is a small book combining a brief short story and a short novella that are connected together by the central characters, an event in the past, and a shawl. This book has many themes combined … Continue reading

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When is a Historian Judge and Jury?

Over a century ago, the world became intrigued by the theories of Sigmund Freud and his interpretation of humans as irrational, rather than rational, creatures. People wondered about the significance and consequences of irrationality in courts of law, legislatures, schools, … Continue reading

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